dwood@northshire.com's blog

Dafydd Wood - Events and Community Outreach Coordinator in Manchester

Dafydd, a Vermont-transplant from Louisiana by way of Austin, is the events manager for Northshire's Manchester location. He has happily found a new use for his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (on international interdisciplinary modernism). His tastes run arch and snooty from early 20th century culture generally to contemporary avant garde classical music, from Ethiopian Jazz and Afrobeat to historical materialism, art criticism, and poetics. He likes to read modernism (not so much the post-), history, travel literature, classics, poetry, fiction, drama, nonfiction, and essays. He also likes his wife (a midwife), his kids (two of whom are picture here), cooking, beer, B-movies, art, and nature.

The Great Concert of the Night by Jonathan Buckley - Book Review

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The Great Concert of the Night Cover Image
ISBN: 9781681373959
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: New York Review Books - January 14th, 2020

What an accomplishment this novel is! Taking the form of brief passages that David has begun to write in a diary, Jonathan Buckley somehow shapes an entire life. I feel like I know David like I know Leopold Bloom or Proust’s narrator. Buckley creates a private, personal intellectual life for his creation. What does David do? He works at a small museum of curiosities, he reads, he thinks, and he remembers. He remembers his relationship with Imogen, an actress in arty French films. Buckley orchestrates these little fragments, fluidly moving through time as David thinks, remembers, and experiences. A whole life comes into focus as you read. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

Farnsworth's Classical English Style by Ward Farnsworth - Book Review

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Farnsworth's Classical English Style Cover Image
ISBN: 9781567926651
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: David R. Godine Publisher - April 21st, 2020

This book is an absolute delight to read full of examples of some of the very best prose in English. Farnsworth’s project is to enumerate and explain stylistic felicities of the past. While his take on contemporary prose is more pessimistic than warranted, Farnsworth’s indubitably accurate thesis is that the best English stylists often used opposition as a source of rhetorical power. And then come the wonderful lines organized by various techniques or tropes—Anglo-Saxon vs. Latinate word choice, metonymy, hyperbole, alternating long and short sentences, anacoluthon (grammatical disruption), prose rhythm, etc. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

Summer Solstice: An Essay by Nina Maclaughlin - Book Review

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Summer Solstice: An Essay Cover Image
ISBN: 9781574232387
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Published: Black Sparrow Press - April 27th, 2020

This gorgeous extended essay is one of the most evocative pieces of prose I’ve encountered in a long time. Summer Solstice is far heavier than its page count suggests. MacLaughlin somehow amazingly renders the experience of time lived in the most sensual detail. Grab this beaker full of the warm south and read it slowly and carefully. Or, like me, read it through and then immediately read it again. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

Rogomelec by Leonor Fini - Book Review

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Rogomelec Cover Image
By Leonor Fini, Jonathan P. Eburne (Introduction by), Serena Shanken Skwersky (Translator)
ISBN: 9781939663481
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wakefield Press - April 21st, 2020

Yet another fascinating surreal novel sidelined because of the author’s gender. This dream-like journey to the monastery of Rogomelec (which might or might not mean “he who stones the king”) is a short novel by the painter Leonor Fini. A fast and transfixing read full of gender ambiguity, an iridescent sorbet, a concert in an ossuary, and a lame monk who dresses the narrator in the most elaborate costume made from 100% freshly caught octopi. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

Breaking Bread: A Baker's Journey Home in 75 Recipes by Martin Philip - Book Review

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Breaking Bread: A Baker's Journey Home in 75 Recipes Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062447920
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Harper Wave - October 31st, 2017

Martin Philip, "baker, author, banjoist," won the 2018 Vermont Book Award for Baking Bread this gorgeous one - two punch of memoir and cookbook. Beautifully prose, gorgeous pictures, but it must be said, the baking recipes are intimidating. I sat down one morning with the dense second section of this book "Method" and my bread-making game grew exponentially! My baking Bible. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood


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